Thank you, Mr. Redwing Blackbird, and also thank you for not pecking me on the head when I rode past your nesting area like those Australian magpies do.

It’s true, the redwing blackbird was the first person to greet me as I finished up my final Before & After ride. He or she hovered over me for the final fifty yards or so to the site of my big celebratory photo at the edge of town.

It is with bittersweet feelings that I have finally finished this project. I am very happy not to have to worry about being obliged to write something every single day. Three-and-a-half weeks is a long time to keep coming up with absolutely NOTHING. I definitely need a break from that kind of pressure.

On the other hand, NOW what am I going to do after my bike rides? I guess I could catch up on yard work. And, of course, there is Scott’s July Challenge to look forward to. I have some appreciation for the Blues.

Whatever. The important thing is that I’m done with this self-imposed challenge. Here come the last Before & After pictures:

August 29, 2013: I took this picture in commemoration of the first beard I had ever grown. Oh yeah, ALSO to commemorate the completion of my first multi-week bike trip — from Seattle, WA to Hastings, MN.

June 30, 2020: I took this picture to commemorate the final day of my Before & After project. Oh yeah, ALSO to commemorate the official re-naming of this humble little town where I happen to live.

There is no doubt in my mind that I had more fun doing this thing than you had reading it. Even so, I thank all of you who DID read it to the bitter end, and especially to those of you who commented on some of my posts and encouraged me to finish.

Before we all commence to celebrating, I do have a few more people to thank.

June 3, 2014: Thank you to The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong, who carried me for most of this month’s rides. In this picture from my second multi-week bike tour, the bike (in the shadow of the middle can) seems ready to take on the world’s largest six-pack of beer.

And thank you to G-2 and Doris for their parts in helping me with this project. They seem ready to celebrate by tackling the world’s second largest six-pack. I probably better help them.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

9 response to "BEFORE AND AFTER: June 30"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: June 30, 2020

    Awesome accomplishment! Enjoy that six pack. I’m sorry I can’t be there to share it with you. And an impressive set of before/after shots today. It doesn’t look like you’ve changed at all. Just like Hastings – exactly the same population after seven years?

    • By: gregblood Posted: June 30, 2020

      In MY Town, nobody ever moves in, moves out, gives birth, or dies. But we do keep accumulating “Tree City USA” accolades.

  2. By: Alchemyrider Posted: June 30, 2020

    Hats off to you sir. (I think the fancy beer version of that sentiment is ‘Chapeau’)

    Your Before and Afters required WAAAAAY more creativeness than I could muster. I’ll bet G-2 has more creativity in him than I have.

    You’ve covered a lot of ground on the Reckless Mr Bing Bong. Very best wishes for many more miles together

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 30, 2020

    You did it!!! Congratulations!!

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: July 2, 2020

    Yay!! Congratulations – well done to you and G-2 and Doris! It’s good to see the population remains the same but the Arbor Day sign gets updated and the years sit at the same crooked angle in both pics. Did the Lions Club pack up and leave, too?!

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 2, 2020

    Grouse(as we say here) or well done. Well done Hastings on 23 years of planting view blockers.

  6. By: Suzanne Posted: July 2, 2020

    I knew you could do it! I looked forward to each new post – sorry it’s over. Hey, it’s not too hard to find something blue, is it? 31 days consecutively that is.

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